Hello GeoEd colleagues,
As you work to prepare submissions for the upcoming 2020 GSA Annual meeting, we’d like to call your attention to a session co-convened by myself, Julie Sexton and Jessica McKay.
T246 - The Transformative Role of Field Instruction: Research on Student Experiences and Impacts on Persistence in the Geosciences and Career Intent Through the Lens of Gender, Culture and Elements of Diversity.
Evidence-based studies into the transformative impact of field instruction on students’ academic growth and career aspirations in the geosciences, especially examining differential impacts of field experience by dimensions of diversity including gender, ethnicity,
culture and ability
For decades the critical role of field instruction and field camps has been recognized as central to the growth of geoscientists, their likelihood to persist in geoscience and to
continue into geoscience careers. In recent years, immersive field experiences are being understood to be transformative educational experiences in the formal sense of the term, namely educational experiences that have an outsized impact on future directions
and the formation of science identity among students relative to their duration. Transformative experiences can propel students to specific careers, but if they go badly for students, they can just as powerfully drive students away from these career paths.
The reasons these experiences go poorly for some students is often related to conflicts that arise between elements of student diversity, culture, gendered experience or some intersection of these, and the structure of or culture embedded in the transformative
educational experience itself. Geologic field instructions and field camps have long been recognized as crucial to the formation of geoscience culture and identity, and research teams are engaging in understanding how field instruction can have a particularly
large and often negative impact on the persistence of women, underrepresented students, and students with differing physical abilities in the geosciences. GSA and other geoscience scientific and professional societies have taken a firm stance on issues of
workplace climate, inclusivity and elimination of harassment, and this session is consistent with the goals of creating diverse and inclusive educational experiences for our students.
This session is co-sponsored by NAGT and GSA GED.
We hope you’ll join us!
Eric M. Riggs, Ph.D.
Interim Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Geoscience Education
Associate Professor of Geoscience Education
Department of Geology & Geophysics
Texas A&M University
College Station, TX 77843-3115
Riggs Group website -